you Adam & Eve it! Yet another New Year following
yet another Xmas – and before you can blink
an eye or throw a dart, there will be another along
before you know it!
is, the older you get the quicker it comes –
best thing about New Year - other than making all
those resolutions you make and break before January
is out – is Lakeside and the prospect of yet
another wonderful World Pro.
this will be my tenth consecutive year of ‘punditing’
(is there such a word?) and presenting the darts on
BBC with me old mate, Ray Stubbs for nine days from
the 5th to the 13th.
is a real Pro, and I love working with him and the
BBC, because they are the guv’nors. No one does
TV sport better than the Beeb.
know I’m a pundit, but it’s no good asking
me to name a winner! On paper Gary Anderson should
win his first World Pro title. 2007 was his year,
he’s the bookies favourite, and he’s the
form horse. He’s such a heavy scorer that he
should win it…….BUT!
has never been great for Gary (he got to the Semi’s
in 2003) but look what happened last year with Phill
Nixon and that amazing final with Martin Adams. He
came to Lakeside as a qualifier and almost walked
away with the silverware!
can’t be a repeat for either Martin or Phill
this year, because they’ve drawn each other
in the First Round! Blimey, it’s something that’s
never happened before, and it’s a shame really
– but that’s the World Pro, and that’s
the way the draw can go.
the way, the reason Phill has two ‘ll’s’
in his name is because there are so many Phil’s
in his family that he decided to make sure he stood
out from the crowd with a double ll. He’s also
been made an honorary member of Durham County Cricket
Club and just a few weeks ago his local paper, The
Northern Echo gave him their ‘Local Hero’
Award and it was presented by former Olympic athlete
Steve Cram. Not many people know that!!
THE WAY TO PHILL IT!
no predictions from me (I’ve been in this game
too long for that!). Let’s just say that any
of the 32 players can win it – and whatever
happens, I am in my tenth final with Ray Stubbs!
can never predict BDO majors. That’s the beauty
of the system. Look at the performance of Scotland’s
Robert Thornton at the World Masters. He came through
the tough floor matches and battled his way to the
stage to win the oldest title in World Darts. It’s
been played since 1974 and Robert’s name now
joins some of the all-time ‘greats’ of
darts. Well done to him – he really deserves
his triumph, but the real icing on the cake (other
than the 25 Grand cheque from Winmau) is the fact
that it has got him back to Lakeside.
got to be worth a few bob as a fancied ‘outsider’
at the bookies!
yes! Another well done to Johnboy Walton on that stunning
9-darter at the World Masters. There was a time when
Johnboy couldn’t hit a double for love or money
– but that double-12 went in as sweet as a nut!
he repeat the feat at Lakeside? He got £2,000
at Bridlington. If he does it at Lakeside he’ll
THE WAY TO 9-DART IT!
real moan from the Masters was the ‘no drinking’
rule for the spectators watching the preliminary rounds.
I do understand that players should not drink alcohol
when playing, but when the public pay good money to
go and watch darts, is it fair to tell them that they
can’t take a drink into the room while they
I think it’s wrong, and has got to change.
NOT THE WAY TO DRINK IT!
of printing deadlines, I am writing this before the
2008 World Pro, so let me tell you about a couple
of all, Mike Bushell, who presents the sports news
on BBC Breakfast, came down to George Hall to do a
TV feature that you can see on the morning of January
5th as the perfect launch of the 31st consecutive
is a lovely man who takes on a new sporting challenge
each week, so I asked him to come down to George Hall
for a bit of darts ‘training’ and to play
‘A Leg With Bobby’.
a big fan of darts and, without giving too much away,
I can tell you that he had a great time at George
Hall, and because of his daring sporting challenges,
I have nicknamed him Mike ‘Who Dares Wins’
THE WAY TO BREAKFAST TV IT!
to prove that people read my column each month, take
a butcher’s at the photo of Sue Waterman, who
plays for Essex County. She read about the unique
saying which I highlighted in the column. It has ten
‘If it is to be it is up to me’
loved it so much that she had it tattooed on her arm!
THE WAY TO TATTOO IT!
about sayings, there was one in Darts World last month
that made me laugh out loud:
Infamy!! They’ve all got it in for me!!!’
was by an anonymous writer…..What a Carry On!
THE WAY TO INFAMY IT!
talking about laughing, I fell about when a geezer
came up to me at a recent exhibition and had 20 –
yes 20 – signed photo’s!
looked at him and asked: ‘Are these all yours?’
He just gave me a wink and replied: ‘I’m
not the only one who loves you, Bobby. My mates do
THE WAY TO PHOTO IT!
to TV, I was tickled by a review of my appearance
in ITV’s’Don’t Call Me Stupid’
by Giles Smith of The Times. He’s a man who
writes some ‘wicked’ stuff on televised
darts, but who is nevertheless fair and funny.
headline cracked me up: ‘King of Bling’s
tale: fishy twist to works of the lesser known Geoffrey
It was a bit of a p****take, but I love humour in
writing, and Mr.Giles is something of an expert. This
is just a little of what he wrote:
else are you likely to see Bobby George answer questions
on Geoffrey Chaucer after a crash course in medieval
literature from Vanessa Feltz?
you heard of The Canterbury Tales’?” the
television presenter asked her pupil. To which the
‘King of Bling’ replied: ‘No, doll’,
and to judge from the way he referred to the author
for the next ten minutes as Geoffrey Torso, the darter
was not bluffing.
in turn, had to introduce Feltz to his passion. Not
darts, as it turned out. ‘There’s only
one thing that beats fishing” he said. “That’s
making love while fishing’.
many darts players from the 1980s have their own lake,
George has two – both at George Hall, his mansion
in rural Essex. During the quiz portion of the show,
George’s unconventional habit of wheeling away
from his lectern to share a laugh with the audience
behind him, could have been learnt only, one felt,
on the oche.
was also proof of a rare talent for connecting with
people across any number of plausible barriers. Call
me ‘spasmotic’ but I still think it could
come good for him, celebrity television wise. He just
needs a break.”
was lots more and I was so pleased that I sent a personal
email to Giles Smith. He didn’t believe it was
Bobby George at first. He thought it must be someone
pulling his leg!
suppose that’s the trouble with taking the p****
sometimes. You never believe the truth when it hits
you in the face!! Anyway, we have since made proper
contact and it turns out that Mr.Smith’s mother
lives in Colchester so, before long he’s going
to be coming down to George Hall for a bit of fishing,
a bit of Chaucer, a game of darts, and lots of Chinese
THE WAY TO SMITH IT!
Staying on the subject of taking the ‘p’’
I was disappointed to hear Barry Hearn criticise darts
players and disrespect the sport when he was interviewed
on ITV during the recent Grand Slam of Darts.
everyone else who loves darts, I was genuinely delighted
to see it back on ITV, but when he boasted that ITV
was now seeing the ‘professionals’ and
that the only previous darts on terrestrial TV (meaning
BBC) was played by part-time, pub playing amateurs,
I was horrified.
one sentence he dismissed 30 years of BBC darts and
all the players seen in the World Pro since 1978 –
BDO and those now in the PDC, including Phil Taylor
and Raymond Barneveld.
think he should apologise and remember another well
known saying that goes something like this: ‘He
who goes to the well the most will surely find it
dry’. Or, as I prefer to say: ‘If you
keep letting people in the front door, you will be
pushed through the back door’.
NOT THE WAY TO DO IT!
enjoyed being a guest at the BBC Sports Personality
of the Year’ last month. Not only did I rub
shoulders with some of the ‘greats’, but
I was also invited to the Stella Artois pre-show drinks
like posh lager, but I’m not into tennis! The
reason they asked me to be in their company once again
is because they found it ‘boring’ without
me! ‘You do make us laugh, Bobby’ said
one of the glamorous young ladies. What can you say
to that at my age?
for tennis? New balls please! I’ve got the bat!
THE WAY TO TENNIS IT!
forget that my book ‘Bobby Dazzler’ is
now out in paperback and I will be signing loads of
copies at Lakeside.
it came out in hardback last year it got some great
reviews and The Independent made it their ‘Book
Of The Week.’ But, my favourite quote has to
be the one from Nick Royle of Setanta Sports, who
Bobby George was a footballer, he would have been
indeed! Funnily enough, we do share the same initials,
but the other way round: BG and GB.
comparisons end there, unless of course you put it
into context. Like me George Best played his sport
because he loved it and every time he played he entertained.
can’t play football and he couldn’t play
darts, but in our ‘pomp’ we both enjoyed
the ‘fun’ of competing and putting on
THE WAY TO PLAY IT!
brings me nicely to the end of my first column of
2008. A Very Happy New Year to all my readers. May
you enjoy health and happiness in the year ahead.